The four selected projects, 1,300MW Codling Wind Park, the 824MW Dublin Array, 500MW North Irish Sea Array (NISA), and the 450MW Sceirde Rocks wind farm, can address more than one third of Ireland’s entire electricity consumption

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Ireland awards four projects in ORESS 1. (Credit: Jesse De Meulenaere on Unsplash)

Ireland government has awarded four projects, with a combined capacity of about 3.1GW, in the first offshore wind auction under the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme, dubbed ORESS 1.

The four selected projects include 1,300MW Codling Wind Park, the 824MW Dublin Array, 500MW North Irish Sea Array (NISA), and the 450MW Sceirde Rocks wind farm.

The Codling Wind Park is owned by a 50/50 joint venture (JV) between Fred. Olsen Seawind and EDF Renewables, while Dublin Array is owned by RWE.

NISA is owned by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and Statkraft, while the Sceirde Rocks wind farm is owned by Fuinneamh Sceirde Teoranta (FST).

FST is a joint venture owned by Corio Generation, a portfolio company of Macquarie’s Green Investment Group, and global infrastructure investor Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

Ireland’s Ministry for the Environment, Climate and Communications, stated: “The auction results have surpassed expectations, both in terms of the total volume of renewable energy procured and the low price at which it has been secured.

“The hugely competitive price secured — at an average of €86.05/MWh — is one of the lowest prices paid by an emerging offshore wind market in the world.

“For comparison, the average wholesale electricity price in Ireland over the past 12 months was in excess of €200/MWh. It is expected that this price will save Irish electricity consumers hundreds of millions of euros per year.”

The more than 3GW of capacity, procured from four offshore wind projects, is expected to deliver over 12TWh of renewable electricity per annum.

It is the largest volume of renewable energy ever procured at an auction in Ireland.

The procured wind projects are said to address more than one third of Ireland’s entire electricity consumption and a quarter of electricity demand estimated for 2030.

It is also adequate to power more than 2.5 million households in Ireland, with clean electricity and reduce one million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 2030.

ORESS 1 also includes community benefit fund provisions, which ensures the payments are made to local marine and coastal communities, which host the renewable energy projects.

The communities are expected to benefit from more than €24m per annum payments, starting from pre-construction to 20 years after a project begins to produce renewable energy.

Ireland’s Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan said: “The provisional results of the ORESS 1 auction are not just a hugely positive story for Irish energy consumers, but for Ireland as a whole.

“The results are further evidence of what many of us have known for a long time; that we, as a nation, can develop and produce enormous quantities of clean energy – securely and at low cost.

“My department is developing further offshore wind auctions to bring us closer to this energy-independent future, while also chairing the whole-of-government Offshore Wind Delivery Taskforce to maximise the benefits to the economy, local communities, and the environment.”